"Exploring the Wilderness" by Craig Wolfrom , public domain

Craters of the Moon

National Monument & Preserve - Idaho

Craters of the Moon National Monument and Preserve is in the Snake River Plain in central Idaho. It is along US 20 (concurrent with US 93 and US 26), between the small towns of Arco and Carey, at an average elevation of 5,900 feet (1,800 m) above sea level. The protected area's features are volcanic and represent one of the best-preserved flood basalt areas in the continental United States. The Monument and Preserve encompass three major lava fields and about 400 square miles (1,000 km2) of sagebrush steppe grasslands to cover a total area of 1,117 square miles (2,893 km2). All three lava fields lie along the Great Rift of Idaho, with some of the best examples of open rift cracks in the world, including the deepest known on Earth at 800 feet (240 m). There are excellent examples of almost every variety of basaltic lava, as well as tree molds (cavities left by lava-incinerated trees), lava tubes (a type of cave), and many other volcanic features.

location

maps

Travel Map of Craters of the Moon National Monument and Preserve (NM & PRES) in Idaho. Published by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM).Craters of the Moon - Travel Map

Travel Map of Craters of the Moon National Monument and Preserve (NM & PRES) in Idaho. Published by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM).

Map of Seasonal Closures between Dec 1 - Apr 30 in Wood River Valley in the Shoshone Field Office area in Idaho. Published by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM).Wood River Valley - Recreation Map

Map of Seasonal Closures between Dec 1 - Apr 30 in Wood River Valley in the Shoshone Field Office area in Idaho. Published by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM).

Visitor Map of Craters of the Moon National Monument (NM) in Idaho. Published by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM).Craters of the Moon - Visitor Map

Visitor Map of Craters of the Moon National Monument (NM) in Idaho. Published by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM).

Official visitor map of Craters of the Moon National Monument & Preserve (NM & PRES) in Idaho. Published by the National Park Service (NPS).Craters of the Moon - Visitor Map

Official visitor map of Craters of the Moon National Monument & Preserve (NM & PRES) in Idaho. Published by the National Park Service (NPS).

Map of the Laidlaw Park Driving Tour at Craters of the Moon National Monument (NM) in Idaho. Published by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM).Craters of the Moon - Laidlaw Park Driving Tour

Map of the Laidlaw Park Driving Tour at Craters of the Moon National Monument (NM) in Idaho. Published by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM).

Trails Map of the Mackay Mine Hill Tour in the BLM Challis Field Office area in Idaho. Published by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM).Mackay Mine Hill Tour - Trails Map

Trails Map of the Mackay Mine Hill Tour in the BLM Challis Field Office area in Idaho. Published by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM).

Map of the U.S. National Park System. Published by the National Park Service (NPS).National Park System - National Park Units

Map of the U.S. National Park System. Published by the National Park Service (NPS).

Map of the U.S. National Park System with Unified Regions. Published by the National Park Service (NPS).National Park System - National Park Units and Regions

Map of the U.S. National Park System with Unified Regions. Published by the National Park Service (NPS).

Map of the U.S. National Heritage Areas. Published by the National Park Service (NPS).National Park System - National Heritage Areas

Map of the U.S. National Heritage Areas. Published by the National Park Service (NPS).

Visitor Map of Lost River Ranger District of Salmon-Challis National Forest (NF) in Idaho. Published by the U.S. Forest Service (USFS).Salmon-Challis Visitor Map - Lost River

Visitor Map of Lost River Ranger District of Salmon-Challis National Forest (NF) in Idaho. Published by the U.S. Forest Service (USFS).

brochures

A Guided Tour of the Largest Kipuka at Craters of the Moon National Monument and Preserve (NM & PRES) in Idaho. Published by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM).Craters of the Moon - Laidlaw Park: Sagebrush Oasis

A Guided Tour of the Largest Kipuka at Craters of the Moon National Monument and Preserve (NM & PRES) in Idaho. Published by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM).

Rare Plants of Idaho. Published by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM).BLM Idaho - Rare Plants of Idaho

Rare Plants of Idaho. Published by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM).

Native Garden Guide for Southestern Idaho. Published by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM).BLM Idaho - Native Garden Guide

Native Garden Guide for Southestern Idaho. Published by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM).

A Field Guide to Plants of the Boise Foothills. Published by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM).BLM Idaho - Plants of the Boise Foothills

A Field Guide to Plants of the Boise Foothills. Published by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM).

https://www.nps.gov/crmo/index.htm https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Craters_of_the_Moon_National_Monument_and_Preserve Craters of the Moon National Monument and Preserve is in the Snake River Plain in central Idaho. It is along US 20 (concurrent with US 93 and US 26), between the small towns of Arco and Carey, at an average elevation of 5,900 feet (1,800 m) above sea level. The protected area's features are volcanic and represent one of the best-preserved flood basalt areas in the continental United States. The Monument and Preserve encompass three major lava fields and about 400 square miles (1,000 km2) of sagebrush steppe grasslands to cover a total area of 1,117 square miles (2,893 km2). All three lava fields lie along the Great Rift of Idaho, with some of the best examples of open rift cracks in the world, including the deepest known on Earth at 800 feet (240 m). There are excellent examples of almost every variety of basaltic lava, as well as tree molds (cavities left by lava-incinerated trees), lava tubes (a type of cave), and many other volcanic features. Craters of the Moon is a vast ocean of lava flows with scattered islands of cinder cones and sagebrush. We invite you to explore this "weird and scenic landscape" where yesterday's volcanic events are likely to continue tomorrow. Visitor Center and Loop Drive are located 18 miles southwest of Arco, Idaho on U.S. Highway 20/26/93, 24 miles northeast of Carey, Idaho on U.S. Highway 20/26/93, 84 miles from Idaho Falls, and 90 miles from Twin Falls. Physical address is 1266 Craters Loop Road(Lat/Long: 43° 27.711'N/113° 33.7) Access to the main visitor use area is via a paved highway. Unpaved roads provide additional access to the BLM monument and NPS Preserve but should only be utilized by four wheel drive and high clearance vehicles. Robert Limbert Visitor Center When open, stop by the visitor center for maps and the Craters of the Moon Natural History Association bookstore, and of course: your passport stamp! 18 miles southwest of Arco, Idaho on U.S. Highway 20/26/93, 24 miles northeast of Carey, Idaho on U.S. Highway 20/26/93, 84 miles from Idaho Falls, and 90 miles from Twin Falls. Group Campground Nestled behind Sunset Cinder Cone about .75 miles up a gravel road on the north side of U.S. Highway 20/26/93...a great spot for group camping! Group Campground Fee 30.00 Reserve and pay for Group Campground through the Recreation.gov website. Group Campground trees and tent on cinder cone Lava Flow Campground The Lava Flow Campground is a 42-site campground accessible by automobile from May through November. All sites are available on a first-come, first-served basis. Some sites will accommodate large RVs, but no hookups are available. Campground Fee - Regular Season 15.00 Fee per night for a single campsite. This fee is charged during the regular season when water is available, typically from May through October. Campground Fee - Regular Season (with Senior or Access Pass) 7.50 Discount applies only to Senior and Access Pass holders. There is no discount for America the Beautiful passholders. Fee per night for a single campsite. This fee is charged during the regular season when water is available, typically from May through October. Campground Fee - Shoulder Season (with Senior or Access Pass) 4.00 Discount applies only to Senior and Access Pass holders. There is no discount for America the Beautiful passholders. Fee per night for a single campsite. This fee is charged when water is unavailable in the campground, typically in April and November. Campground Fee - Shoulder Season 8.00 Fee per night for a single campsite. This fee is charged when water is unavailable in the campground, typically in April and November. Campground Fee - Winter 0.00 In winter (typically December through March) the campground is walk-in only. No fee is charged at this time. There is no access to the campground for RVs and other vehicles. No water is available. Lava Flow Campground A tent is nestled among black volcanic rock and shrubby plants. The Lava Flow Campground offers a unique camping experience and is conveniently located near the park visitor center and popular trails. Tents at the Campground three tents on a hill of black lava rocks with a dark hill covered with trees in the distance The Lava Flow Campground offers 42 sites nestled among the black lava rocks between the visitor center and North Crater. Bird's Eye View of the Lava Flow Campground trailers, RVs, and other vehicles parked at different sites at a small campground among lava rocks This campground offers the experience of camping on one of the youngest lava flows in the park. RV Camping at Lava Flow Campground an RV parked in a pull through campsite among sagebrush, a second RV is at the neighboring site Some sites offer pull-through parking for trailers and RVs. Back-in Campsites two adjacent campsites with paved parking pads and picnic tables Campsites vary in size and may be back-in or pull-through. Site 25 with Monoliths campsite with picnic table and grill against a dark rocky landscape and cinder cones Campsites offer stark views of the unique volcanic landscape. Campground Amphitheater an amphitheater with benches, projection counter, and a roofed stage In the summer, evening programs may be offered at the amphitheater. A Sea of Lava A close-up shot of a folded, waving sea of lava rock, with mountains in the far distance. Craters of the Moon features the largest young lava field in the lower 48 states, encompassing the entire Great Rift volcanic zone. Wildflowers on the Moon Small purple flowers and larger white flowers with reddish stems grow out of black volcanic rock Spectacular floral displays occur at Craters each spring, including this dwarf monkeyflower and bitterroot. Stargazing at Craters The Craters entrance sign sits below a starry night sky, with the milky way brightly-lit. Craters of the Moon was designated an International Dark Sky Park in 2017, making it one of the best places in the country to stargaze. Exploring the Craters A figure stands inside a large lava tube on a pile of rubble, lit by a round opening overhead. Many visitors come to Craters to explore its unique and fragile lava tubes. Explore Craters on Foot A paved trail winds up around the side of a spatter cone. Trails at Craters, like the Spatter Cone Trail, allow visitors to explore young volcanic features like spatter cones, cinder cones, and lava fields. A Weird and Scenic Landscape A panoramic view across the Craters landscape, bisected by a winding road. Craters of the Moon features unexpectedly stunning views, such as this panoramic vista from the top of Inferno Cone. American Pika as an Indicator Species for Detecting Climate Change Pikas live in the expansive lava flows of Craters of the Moon National Monument and Preserve—an atypical habitat in a harsh environment. Here we have a spectacular opportunity to learn more about how this species may respond to climate change over time. American pika resting on a rock Listening to the Eclipse: National Park Service scientists join Smithsonian, NASA in nationwide project A solar eclipse is visually stunning, but what will it sound like? NPS scientists will find out by recording sounds in parks across the USA. An NPS scientist installs audio recording equipment in a lush valley at Valles Caldera NP. NPS Structural Fire Program Highlights 2014 Intern Accomplishments Park Air Profiles - Craters of the Moon National Monument & Preserve Air quality profile for Craters of the Moon National Monument & Preserve. Gives park-specific information about air quality and air pollution impacts for Craters of the Moon NM & Pres as well as the studies and monitoring conducted for Craters of the Moon NM & Pres. Lava tube sculpture and flowers Pikas in Peril The National Park Service stewards pika populations in more than a dozen parks and seeks to understand the vulnerability of pikas and other mountain species to climate change. Pikas in Peril, funded in 2010, was a collaborative research program directed by scientists from the National Park Service, Oregon State University, University of Idaho, and University of Colorado-Boulder. Profile of a pika on rough, dark red lava rock. © Michael Durham Wildland Fire in Douglas Fir: Western United States Douglas fir is widely distributed throughout the western United States, as well as southern British Columbia and northern Mexico. Douglas fir is able to survive without fire, its abundantly-produced seeds are lightweight and winged, allowing the wind to carry them to new locations where seedlings can be established. Close-up of Douglas fir bark and needles. Wildland Fire in Sagebrush Sagebrush will burn when the surrounding grasses are dry. With strong winds, fire spreads rapidly with flames sometimes reaching over 30 feet high. While fire easily kills sagebrush, the other plants resprout from protected roots producing lush forage for wildlife and livestock. Close-up of sagebrush leaves Explore Your Southern Idaho National Parks Discover southern Idaho's hidden treasures, including Craters of the Moon National Monument and Preserve, City of Rocks National Reserve, Minidoka National Historic Site, and Hagerman Fossil Beds National Monument. A group of people joyfully cut the ceremonial ribbon outside the new Minidoka visitor center. Visiting Craters of the Moon National Monument & Preserve Explore one of North America's most unique and scenic volcanic landscapes, where lava flows and cinder cones meet a vast sagebrush desert. Craters of the Moon National Monument and Preserve offers excellent opportunities for hiking, camping, and stunning night skies. The dark silhouette of a person standing on a rocky slope, in front of a bright starry sky. Parks, pikas, and physiological stress: Implications for long-term monitoring of an NPS climate-sensitive sentinel species Baseline values of physiological stress can be incorporated into monitoring plans for pikas, providing park managers with additional information related to the vulnerability of this climate-sensitive model species that occurs within a large number of western parks. American pika (Copyright Dick Orleans) NPS Geodiversity Atlas—Craters Of The Moon National Monument & Preserve, Idaho Each park-specific page in the NPS Geodiversity Atlas provides basic information on the significant geologic features and processes occurring in the park. [Site Under Development] volcanic landscape Series: Geologic Time Periods in the Cenozoic Era The Cenozoic Era (66 million years ago [MYA] through today) is the "Age of Mammals." North America’s characteristic landscapes began to develop during the Cenozoic. Birds and mammals rose in prominence after the extinction of giant reptiles. Common Cenozoic fossils include cat-like carnivores and early horses, as well as ice age woolly mammoths. fossils on display at a visitor center Series: National Park Service Geodiversity Atlas The servicewide Geodiversity Atlas provides information on <a href="https://www.nps.gov/subjects/geology/geoheritage-conservation.htm">geoheritage</a> and <a href="https://www.nps.gov/subjects/geology/geodiversity.htm">geodiversity</a> resources and values all across the National Park System to support science-based management and education. The <a href="https://www.nps.gov/orgs/1088/index.htm">NPS Geologic Resources Division</a> and many parks work with National and International <a href="https://www.nps.gov/subjects/geology/park-geology.htm">geoconservation</a> communities to ensure that NPS abiotic resources are managed using the highest standards and best practices available. park scene mountains Series: Southern Idaho National Parks Newspaper: Summer 2020 Many visitors rush through Idaho on their way to the world’s first national park, Yellowstone. Most are unaware that a small portion of this national park as well as four other national park units are also located in southern Idaho. The other National Park Service sites and monuments in this region are relatively unknown to locals and visitors alike, but they contain some of the state's hidden treasures. A panoramic shot of Craters of the Moon National Monument at sunrise. Series: Park Air Profiles Clean air matters for national parks around the country. Photo of clouds above the Grand Canyon, AZ Quaternary Period—2.58 MYA to Today Massive ice sheets advanced and retreated across North America during much of the Quaternary, carving landscapes in many parks. Bering Land Bridge National Preserve contains geologic evidence of lower sea level during glacial periods, facilitating the prehistoric peopling of the Americas. The youngest rocks in the NPS include the lava of Hawaii Volcanoes National Park and the travertine at Yellowstone National Park, which can be just a few hours old. fossil bone bed and murals of mammoths Cenozoic Era The Cenozoic Era (66 million years ago [MYA] through today) is the "Age of Mammals." North America’s characteristic landscapes began to develop during the Cenozoic. Birds and mammals rose in prominence after the extinction of giant reptiles. Common Cenozoic fossils include cat-like carnivores and early horses, as well as ice age woolly mammoths. fossils on display in a visitor center The Northwestern Bat Hub: Banding Together for Bat Monitoring Across the West The first detection of white-nose syndrome in the American West in 2016 highlighted an urgent need to better understand the distribution and ecology of around twenty species of bats in Western states. To do this, ecologists in several Inventory & Monitoring Networks and National Parks joined with the USGS and ten other university and agency partners to expand the North American Bat Monitoring Program to sites across the West and develop the Northwestern Bat Hub. Close-up of a western mastiff bat in a gloved hand. Blanket Cave National Youth Park—Activity Enjoy a fun activity and learn about caves even when you can't get out to a park. In this activity you will build your own cave and learn how to make it like a "real" natural cave. Find out about cave formations and wildlife, and how to be safe and care for caves. New "Blanket Cave National Youth Parks" are springing up all across America! Join the fun! cartoon drawing of a childs and a park ranger exploring a cave Exploring Craters of the Moon: A Ranger's Top 10 Tips A ranger's top 10 tips for exploring Craters of the Moon. Newenee: The Shoshonean Peoples of Southern Idaho Explore the connections between the Shoshonean peoples and the public lands of southern Idaho. Photo of a spatter cone under a starry night sky Strombolian Eruptions Stombolian eruptions look like volcanic firework displays. Explosions eject glowing volcanic bombs into the air that then fall around the crater. volcanic eruption with glowing lava seen at night Volcanic Craters Different types of volcanoes have craters with different characteristics. Cinder cones, maars, tuff rings, composite volcanoes, and some domes have craters. cinder cone crater Vents Volcanic vents are openings at the Earth's surface where magma and tephra erupt or volcanic gases are emitted. Vents occur in several different volcanic settings in the parks. erupting lava Changing Patterns of Water Availability May Change Vegetation Composition in US National Parks Across the US, changes in water availability are altering which plants grow where. These changes are evident at a broad scale. But not all areas experience the same climate in the same way, even within the boundaries of a single national park. A new dataset gives park managers a valuable tool for understanding why vegetation has changed and how it might change in the future under different climate-change scenarios. Green, orange, and dead grey junipers in red soil, mountains in background Lava Tree Mold Fossils Tree mold impressions are trace fossils that develop within lava flows. tree mold fossil appears as a round hole in lava rock with still glowing lava and wood embers inside Shield Volcanoes Shield volcanoes are typically very large volcanoes with very gentle slopes made up of basaltic lava flows. Mauna Loa and Kilauea in Hawaii Volcanoes National Park are shield volcanoes. diagram of a shield volcano with lava features Cinder Cones Cinder cones are typically simple volcanoes that consist of accumulations of ash and cinders around a vent. Sunset Crater Volcano and Capulin Volcano are cinder cones. photo of a dry grassy field with a cinder cone in the distance Lava Lakes Lakes of molten or solidified lava are usually only found in pit craters or calderas, both types of collapse features, on shield volcanoes. Lava lakes may occasionally occur within other vent areas, or sometimes even on pooled lava flows. Long-lasting lava lakes typically only form in places where there is good connectivity with a shallow magma reservoir. photo of a lava lake taken with a thermal camera Series: Volcanic Features Volcanoes vary greatly in size and shape. Volcanoes also may have a variety of other features, which in turn, have a great range in diversity of form, size, shape, and permanence. Many volcanoes have craters at their summits and/or at the location of other vents. Some craters contain water lakes. Lakes of molten or solidified lava may exist on some volcanoes. Fumaroles and other geothermal features are a product of heat from magma reservoirs and volcanic gases. photo of a lava lake in a summit crater

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